With less than 150 dairy farms left in Massachusetts, this shrinking industry is struggling to survive the current low price of wholesale milk. In order to help these producers, Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) has been ‘agvocating’ on their behalf to help dairies weather this period of low prices.
“Dairy farming in New England is challenging financially with the cost of producing milk sometimes exceeding the price paid to dairy farmers,” said MFBF President Mark Amato, who manages Verrill Farm in Concord, Massachusetts. “The price paid to these farmers is dictated by federal programs. To help their margins, we support H.B. 3908, an act relative to the dairy farm tax credit.”
Under Massachusetts law, dairy farmers can receive a refundable tax credit for periods of time when the cost of production exceeds the price of milk. The law currently limits the total amount allocated annually toward the credit to $4 million.
“Unfortunately, the $4 million cap has not been adequate to serve our dairy farmers,” Amato said. “H.B. 3908 would increase the limit to $8 million, which hopefully would allow more dairy farmers to stay in business during times of low milk prices.”
Recently, the Massachusetts House of Representatives included an amendment in their budget to raise the tax credit cap to $6 million. If the Massachusetts Senate concurs in conference committee, this change will go to Governor Baker for his approval.
The dairy tax credit is just one example of policy that MFBF supports that could be helpful to Commonwealth dairy producers. Other examples can be found online, at http://www.farmbureau.co/legislative-priority/.
To join online and show your support for the Massachusetts dairy and livestock industries, please visit http://www.farmbureau.co/online-application/.